“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matt 7:22-23).
O Boy, many people are in for a rude awakening! Of course, no one thinks they will be among the “many” that Jesus will tell that He never knew them. They know that they know that they know that they are saved!!!
But truly, can you really know that you are among the sheep that Jesus spoke of, who know His voice, and who can never be snatched from His hand (John 10:27-28)? Who wouldn’t want to believe that? Is there anyone who has believed in Jesus who thinks they are still in danger of hell-fire? Is there anyone who thinks they are among the goats (Matt 25:31-46)???
Some people are too afraid to question their salvation, maybe because they belong to a fellowship where such thinking is tantamount to heresy! If you question your salvation, then you are not truly saved, because if you were, you would know! Or so they are taught. Rest assured that Christ has done it for you already. Never mind what you do, as long as you believe in Jesus, your salvation is sure. Let’s back up a little shall we…
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matt 7:21).
Oh, so we must do God’s will to be saved. Because we are not God, we do not yet know our end…but we have hope and reason to be faithful. Is there such as thing as eternal security? Yes. Can you be sure that you have it? No, in all honesty. Paul tells us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Phil 2:12). You really can’t do that when you’re SURE! And Jesus tells us that only those who endure to the end shall be saved (Matt 24:13). It remains that anyone who thinks he stands needs to take heed lest he falls… (1 Cor 10:12). Let’s back it up a little more…
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matt 7:13-14).
This is as much a message for me as for the next woman or man. The truth is, though many will be wrong, some of us will be right. We do know we have eternal life because of the intimacy we share with our Father. We have a relationship with Him. We actually know His voice, and we love, obey and follow Him. We have a quiet confidence in the knowledge of our security in Him.
But it is wrong to teach that everyone can have that confidence, simply by believing in and not by knowing Jesus. If it doesn’t lead to bearing fruit, if sin is not abhorred in one’s spirit, if Christ is not your life (Phil 1:21), then one can only wonder if such a person truly believes as they say they do. Moving forward, Jesus continues His teaching…
“Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it” (Matt 7:24-27).
Let us therefore heed His words. Let us heed our Brother, James’ admonition to “be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (Jam 1:22). Perhaps many of these people will realise on that day that Jesus rejects them that they knew all along (in their heart) that they didn’t know Jesus…because they rejected Him first, in preference for religion or popularity or prosperity. They deceived themselves willingly. They never truly believed. They never truly feared God.
Finally, “examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2 Cor 13:5). I pray that when I am tested of God, my faith shall be proven to be true, and my works shall be preserved to last (1 Cor 3:13-15). And I pray the same for you.
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